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Old 07-15-2014, 03:21 PM   #1
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Tips for the inaugural trip?

Well, after being thoroughly disappointed by the auto transport broker that I was working with, looks like I get to go with the fly and drive method to pick up my new (to me) 2001 GMC SMB. I will be driving from NC to NV on I40 the entire way...unfortunately this one is for speed and not leisure...and I am wondering if anyone has any tips for my first trip since I won't have the benefit of playing around with the new rig prior to hitting the road. Any and all advice is appreciated as this will be my first time working with RV systems...although I don't know how much use they will see this trip.

Thanks!

OSO
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:39 PM   #2
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Re: Tips for the inaugural trip?

What was the name of the Auto Broker you were using?
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: Tips for the inaugural trip?

I went through ShipYourCarNow (dot) com...they were great on the front end, but then they went radio silent and still haven't gotten a call back after repeated attempts over the last four days. I sent them a signed rights letter (or whatever they call the authorization form) on June 30 and was told it would take about three days to find a driver. Not impressed to say the least. At any rate, I guess I will take the $600 savings doing it myself (not accounting for time, of course! lol) and put it toward farkles for the van...

OSO
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:21 PM   #4
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Re: Tips for the inaugural trip?

I did a fly and buy, but from SMB West. I wish I would have spent a little more time learning before heading out, but if the owner has all the manuals, it should be fine. It all depends on the condition of the rig as well. My was in great shape, SMB looked it over and had all the service records so I felt comfortable driving it 16 hours straight. If I did not know the history, I would have had a local shop look it over before heading out for a long drive(oil change, fluid check). I would also have the owner show you that/how all systems work. The best thing about being on the freeway is that you will not have any problem getting services. I bought Good Sam Roadside service for the drive. It was $79 for the first year so worth the piece of mind. Other then that have a great drive. Congratulations.

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Old 07-15-2014, 09:40 PM   #5
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Re: Tips for the inaugural trip?

If you post some details of the van you are getting, some people may be able to give you some tips or instructions on some of the systems.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:18 AM   #6
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Re: Tips for the inaugural trip?

we bought our van in georgia from a dealer. after looking into shipping via truck and train and not liking what we were hearing, we ended up getting plane tickets gifted to us from a friend that has so many miles built up that she would never be able to use them all. I told the dealer i was going to send her a box of crap that we intended to use on the 2500 mile drive home. we sent tools, bedding, a dvd player with some small speakers (our van was a cargo with nothing inside), flashlight, a cam angle sensor, tire gauge, and a handfull of other random things to make the journey a bit more enjoyable for us. she had the box loaded in the van for us when we arrived.

might be a good idea to look into known issue for that make and model and see if theres anything it would be wise to carry for spares. good luck with your journey, and congrats on the purchase!
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:39 AM   #7
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Re: Tips for the inaugural trip?

i have a recently acquired SMB in Delaware that I need to get back home to San Diego. Flying out and driving back would be fun but I just don't have the time - so I am looking for shipping solutions.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:08 AM   #8
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Re: Tips for the inaugural trip?

^^^ the problem we found was the length of the eb was too long for a single "spot" on something. every place i contacted wanted to charge me for 2 spots since it was in excess of 15'.

also ran into issues with height. i was told that since it had the lightbar and ladder rack on top that it sat too tall for a regular transporter. at the time it sat at 8'.3". again i was told that since it was so tall, that they couldnt put it on top of a carrier and if it were to go on a lower level that they couldnt put another vehicle on top of it.

in the end we saved about a grand just going over to get it ourselves. shipping quotes were anywhere from 1800 to 2500 and we ended up spending 800 bucks in diesel. im sure if i had joined this forum a little earlier and asked for the advice of other members i would have been able to find a better deal. rookie mistake
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:13 PM   #9
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Re: Tips for the inaugural trip?

That is in the wheelhouse for what I was quoted, and had they performed I would have been cool with that, but I promised my daughter I would take her out to the coast for her birthday and I'm running out of time! So same boat I guess, save a little money for a lot of time.
Wish I had some suggestions for you Baja, but no such luck. If i had some more time i would have been happy to tow yours down, but that's not in the cards this time around. I do, however, want to talk to you about the new SMB and whether you would be willing to convert it. I sent a request on your site a week or two ago but haven't really followed up since I still don't have the new rig.
As far as the setup on my SMB goes, it is a 2001 GMC Savana 3500 EB (5.7) with a rear dinette setup and combo maybe toilet/shower. I had it inspected by a third party inspection company and the only issue was low coolant. They filled it up and no leaks and I had it pressure tested just to be sure. Still kind of sketch driving across the country sight unseen though...

OSO
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:38 PM   #10
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Re: Tips for the inaugural trip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
i have a recently acquired SMB in Delaware that I need to get back home to San Diego. Flying out and driving back would be fun but I just don't have the time - so I am looking for shipping solutions.
Last June, we found TNT Transport Services to ship 2 cars from VA to NM. We were very happy with them.

We went the route of calling other shippers, and it was a nightmare straight out of the TV show Shipping Wars. All the shipping brokers want is their commission. Once they have a deal, good luck trying to have them help you with problems. They just shove you off to the contracting shipper.

TNT was a nice, professional operation. Vehicles arrived fast, on time, without a scratch, and with no "extra miles" on the odometers. They are more expensive than the other guys, though, but we specified the top level of the transport, and an enclosed truck.

Our driver told us that TNT handles all kinds of specialty vehicle transport, such as prototype police fleet cars, Euro exotics, and military stuff.
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